Uh oh—my spin around the Hub City finds the end of the Moccasin Creek Trail at Melgaard Road all torn up:
But wait: this is good news! Aberdeen is putting a curb cut-out here, so riders can smoothly merge onto Melgaard’s nice wide shoulder.
Better yet, this intersection is no longer the end of the trail. Check out the south side of the street:
Whoo-hoo! More trail, curving gracefully through the Kuhnert Arboretum! Well done, Aberdeen! Pour that concrete, and let’s ride—oh! And don’t forget to install a pedestrian-controlled crossing light on Melgaard!
With these curb cuts and extra asphalt taken care of, Aberdeen can now turn to other improvements to its admirable bicycle infrastructure. I suggest two priorities. First, connect the two lengths of the Moccasin Creek Trail with a bicycle overpass over the treacherously busy Sixth Avenue SE:
A similar bridge can be placed across Third Avenue SE, where cyclists must currently execute a tricky hairpin turn on a narrow sidewalk, which a bicycle pulling a kiddie trailer cannot easily execute.
Second, let’s connect the Moccasin Creek Trail with the Browne–Baird stretch of the Ordway Trail. Heading north, the Moccasin Creek Trail currently ends at First Avenue SE, just before reaching the rail line. Riders, runners, and walkers seeking more relaxing off-street trail must get on First and travel 1.2 miles on street, west to Dakota, then north over the railroad crossing, then east to Browne Park. I say let cyclists and pedestrians cross the rail line and follow a mile and a half off-street path through mostly undeveloped land up to the Ordway Trail footbridge north of 15th Avenue North.
The Northeast Connector would cross two streets and two rail lines. The rail crossings are a minor engineering issue, with an example of a simple crossing right behind Simmons Elementary on South Fifth Street. Via this connector, Aberdonians could travel the full north–south length of the city entirely off-street, a wonderfully safe opportunity for family recreation.